2013 NBA Mock Draft – Consensus Ver 1.0
Each year HOOPSWORLD puts together a team of writers to look at the NBA Draft. The idea here is to illustrate how differently (or similarly) writers from various NBA markets see the 2013 NBA Draft. So with that out of the way…
Here is the first installment:
Alex’s Notebook: Even though Nerlens Noel tore his ACL on February 12 and underwent season-ending surgery on March 12, he’ll likely be the top pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. Other top prospects such as Ben McLemore, Shabazz Muhammad and Cody Zeller didn’t step up after Noel went down, and Marcus Smart returned to Oklahoma State for his sophomore season. Noel, who just turned 19 earlier this month, has the most potential of anyone in this class. Prior to his injury, he was averaging 10.5 points on 59 percent shooting from the field along with 9.5 rebounds and 4.4 blocks. He’s raw, but teams love his upside. We’ll have a better idea of what’s going to happen after the NBA Draft Lottery on May 21, but I expect him to be the first player off of the board on June 27, 2013.
Victor Oladipo is an intriguing prospect and I believe he can climb into the top three with some impressive workouts. There are plenty of executives and scouts who fell in love with Oladipo at Indiana, since he was an outstanding athlete and perimeter defender as well as a much-improved shooter. Not only is he an excellent defensive player, he had the seventh-highest field goal percentage in the country, which is incredible for a perimeter player, and he had the highest effective field goal percentage among the top-100 prospects. A few weeks ago, I talked to a scout who said that Oladipo is “the best athlete in the draft by a mile” and added that “Oladipo is on top of a lot of teams’ draft boards.”
One player who could really improve his draft stock over the next few months is Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. He didn’t get much attention during the season because Georgia struggled, but he put up huge numbers for the Bulldogs and didn’t have much help. He was a one-man show, averaging 18.5 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 2.0 steals. Caldwell-Pope is only 20 years old – younger than other shooting guard prospects, such as McLemore. Caldwell-Pope is excellent at creating separation, getting open and scoring from anywhere on the court. He was able to produce even though other defenses were primarily focusing on him. Caldwell-Pope is the type of player who will do well in the workout setting. Some mock drafts have him as high at 10, and don’t be surprised if he ends up going up on my future mock drafts.
Yannis’ Notebook: My first consensus mock contains a change at the top from my last full mock because at that time I had the Bobcats slated to pick first. I consistently went with Ben McLemore, not because I didn’t think they could go with Nerlens Noel, but because I don’t feel like they are in a position where they can go the patient route with the number one overall pick.
The Magic on the other hand can be patient with Noel. They’re still early on in their rebuilding process and so far management has given their fans reason to trust their judgment. They know being competitive in 2013-14 isn’t necessarily the plan. Noel could really help them become that in his sophomore season, though, especially if he’s paired with another high lottery selection from the 2014 draft class that is protected to be much stronger.
There are a lot of expectations that come with being the top overall selection. Early on at least, I think McLemore would be better suited to embrace that and provide the kind of production that could give a tired fan base in Charlotte something to be excited about. Plus, it allows them to use the money they would have spent to keep Gerald Henderson elsewhere. And, if Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is truly their small forward of the future they have to have a shot maker, which McLemore certainly is, on the opposite wing. The Bobcats have tried to build hope and optimism for the future since they started business. They haven’t come through and now it’s time to make moves with the present in mind.
The team that I really had the hardest time picking for was Portland at 10. They already have a young project center in Meyers Leonard, but the five spot is definitely their biggest weakness and I just couldn’t justify going in any other direction based on who was on board. C.J McCollum was the guy I gave the most consideration outside of Len, but I just feel like that’s too high for him. Len is the best talent available at that spot in my opinion and the easiest to trade. Blazers GM Neil Olshey has made it abundantly clear that they are going to be aggressive in exploring all their options, so I’m really expecting the pick to be heavily shopped and highly likely to be moved.
Joel’s Notebook: Well, it’s week one of weeks-long quest to help HOOPSWORLD readers wrap their heads around the comings and goings of the 2013 NBA Draft, and that means your next 8 weeks just got infinitely more exciting. The Draft Combine is in a couple of weeks already, and that’s when we really start getting a good sense of what teams are thinking. For now, just know that Nerlens Noel is proving that the one-and-done rule doesn’t preclude really good players from going #1 overall despite nasty injuries. If you’re good enough, and your draft class is flat enough, you can risk injury during college ball and still find your way to the NBA. How successful you are once you get there, however, is up for debate.
Noel really does appear to the best prospect in this draft, which is why he’s likely to go #1, but Ben McLemore carries a lot of promise as well and should be the other guy taken in the top 2. Beyond that, it’s anybody’s guess. I’ve got Shabazz Muhammad going third overall because I think he’ll do good things in workouts, and he’s charismatic enough to knock the ball out of the park in interviews, as well. He’s someone I see pushing his stock up as we get closer to the draft, even though his stock appears to have dropped as the NCAA season progressed.
Steve’s Notebook: Is this draft weak or is it simply flat? If you ask enough NBA insiders you’ll start to hear that while the 2013 NBA Draft doesn’t possess franchise changing stars, what you do here is there is a lot of size and a lot of front court help available in this draft and that there are lot of interchangeable players that teams like.
2013 will be the draft for depth for most teams as the players in this draft are likely fourth or fifth men on their best day and most will have long careers as role and roster players.
When teams talk about this draft as interchangeable it means that we’re going to see some unpredictable moves on draft night. The player some rank at 26 might go as a high as 16, equally the player you may have at 16 could go 36; the gap between players just is not that great. Workouts and the NBA Draft Combine will help separate some, but for the most part there is not a huge gap in perceived or projected NBA ability from guys ranked 15 and guys ranked 35.
Another thing to keep in mind is the sheer volume of picks some teams have in this draft.
Atlanta has four picks (two firsts and two seconds), Cleveland has four picks (two firsts and two seconds), Minnesota has four picks (two firsts and two seconds), and Portland also has four picks (a first and three seconds). Six more teams with three picks such as Detroit, Memphis, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Utah and Washington.
16 of the 2013 NBA Draft’s 60 selections will be controlled by four teams – that’s 26% of the draft. More than half of this draft will be controlled by ten teams.
Now most of the teams with three and four selection are not likely using them for themselves, there will be a lot of wheeling and dealing, especially with a team like Atlanta that is looking to reserve cap space for free agency.
Overall this draft is going to be a tough one to project mainly because a large number of picks are going to change hands simply because of how many are bunched into ten teams, but also because the talent teams may covet could still be there in the second round and that where teams like Memphis and Utah are going to find ways to consolidate and move up.
The NBA Draft takes place on Thursday June 27th in Brooklyn.
So who are these guys?… Alex Kennedy has covered the NBA for four years and covers the NBA from Orlando. Yannis Koutroupis is HOOPSWORLD’s college basketball editor. He has also covered the NBA for seven years and covers the San Antonio Spurs, the Houstons Rockets and the D-League. Joel Brigham has covered the NBA for eight years and covers the Central Division for HOOPSWORLD including the Bulls and the Pacers. Steve Kyler is the editor and publisher of HOOPSWORLD and has covered the NBA for 13 seasons and has handled the Mock Draft for USA Today Sports for the past three years.